Masaki Kan 2/F Yen Sheng Centre, 64 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon. Tel: 2955 1826. Open: 11am-midnight THOSE USED TO hearing lacklustre renditions of the Japanese welcome will be tickled by the dynamic 'irasshai' that greets diners at Masaki Kan. Unfortunately, service-wise, that's the only thing the restaurant gets right. Dinner at Masaki Kan on a recent Friday night consisted of one mix-up after another - and a receipt that was as hard to fathom as the crossed messages we received from restaurant staff taking orders. The four vegetarian-friendly sushi servings were Act 1 of the drawn-out farce. We ordered four hosomaki (long, cylindrical rolls of rice) filled with cucumber, gourd, radish and natto (fermented soy bean), then sat back to peruse the extensive menu. While the manager related our first-course request to the sushi chefs, another waiter zoomed in to take our order for mains: sliced yam udon and sea urchin and salmon fried rice. No sooner had we closed the menu, however, than the manager was back at our table, explaining that we had over-ordered. Each roll ($40), he explained, consisted of six sushi pieces. Taking his cue, we cancelled the cucumber and gourd portions. As we read through the sake menu (which contains a step-by-step guide for processing rice wine), yet another waiter dropped by, this time to tell us the restaurant was out of 'sushi rice'. 'A Japanese restaurant with no sushi?' we asked, laughing - 'Yes, it's finished.' Keen to dull our hunger pangs, we quickly replaced the sushi with one serving each of roasted rice ball ($16), fried tosa bean curd ($45) and smelt fish ($38). We never sampled those dishes, however, because as our third waiter traipsed off to the kitchen with the new order, the sushi arrived - all four rolls of them, and yes, there was a lot. Act 2 opened with the manager at our table. 'We thought you were out of sushi, so we ordered something else; now there's too much,' we complained. 'Please cancel the onigiri [rice ball], tofu and smelt fish.' 'I told you,' he shot back, implying he had warned us not to be greedy. The rest of the conversation was conducted in Japanese, as we were obviously getting nowhere with English, and neither my guest nor I speak Cantonese. Inexplicably the attitude softened. But that didn't stop the foul-ups. Unsure what other food, if any, was to come, we started on the sushi. Arranged attractively on a platter, all four varieties were delicious, especially the cucumber roll, which came sprinkled with sesame seeds. And we were grateful for the natto, which is usually not served at restaurants with a non-Japanese clientele because the product is an acquired taste (and smell). Kwun Tong is not exactly a Japanese hub. And Masaki Kan is not exactly authentically Japanese. The rice ball's arrival marked the start of Act 3. Again we went through the 'scenes', which resulted in the dish being whisked away and replaced by the sliced yam udon. Incor-rectly described, the tuber had been grated, its foaminess giving it the appearance of pond scum. Though simple, it was a treat. Pity my guest, though. Not only did he have to wait 26 minutes for his tea cup to be filled, but he had to seek out the manager to ask for his fried rice. And when this finally appeared, about 45 minutes after we had arrived, it was too dry. Dinner for two came to $279. After taking a close look at the receipt, I realise we may not have been charged for the last dish. At least the finale was consistent with the earlier acts, which is a pity because had this restaurant been judged on food alone it would have received the thumbs up.